Learning Debian GNU/Linux
Author: Bill McCarty
Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates
Price: $34.95 US
Reviewer: Marjorie Richardson
Like most O'Reilly books, Learning Debian GNU/Linux is well-organized and well-written. The author, Bill McCarty, is an associate professor of computer science and obviously knows his stuff. The layout is well-done, and not filled with cutesy graphics to distract the eye.
Many books geared for the Linux newbie have come out in the past year—most of them try to stay vendor-neutral. This book follows the recent trend of focusing on one distribution, in this case, Debian. I actually like this trend, as many newbies are confused when presented with variations in the different distributions, so sticking to one should make discussion clearer and shorten the learning curve for some. Also, Debian is not the easiest of distributions to install and use, so a book devoted to it is deserved.
This book contains a goodly amount of information, and not all of it is for the newbie. It is truly a guide to the entire system, not just an introduction. While introductory material such as a history of Linux, installing, configuring, definitions, etc. is presented, much more complex operations, such as setting up both a local (LAN) and a wide-area (WAN) network, are also described.
The material is presented in a straightforward manner, using clear, easy-to-understand language. However, I did feel the book was written with the computer-literate reader in mind. Even though he defines basics such as “what is an operating system”, it still reads as if he expects you to already know. Indeed, he tells you how to get information you will need to install Linux by using your MS Windows menus.
Mr. McCarty devotes entire chapters to user administration and X configuration, as well as networking. His desktop of choice is GNOME, and it too receives a chapter. Also included are chapters on games and connecting to the Internet. The appendices include a Linux directory tree, the principal Linux files, Debian utilities and a Linux Command Quick Reference. A CD-ROM containing the Debian 2.1 distribution is bound into the book.
The book is not without its faults. One amusing mishap is in Chapter 4. An introduction to useful Linux programs states that you will learn the simple text editor pico, then the author proceeds to teach you the simple text editor ae. Guess he changed his mind.
Overall, Learning Debian GNU/Linux is a complete reference guide to this distribution, and well worth adding to your collection of Linux books.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide